Since its debut in 2014, the 500X has always played an important role in the former FCA, both from a commercial and industrial point of view. This is because it has managed to combine the need to better manage the most requested sector of the moment, that of compact crossovers, with that of relaunching the Melfi plant where the Jeep Renegade is also produced. Today, eight years later, the 500X is still on the crest of the wave and adds an unprecedented hybrid engine to its range, which debuted a few weeks ago on the small SUVs of the American brand of Stellantis. It is a powertrain that is halfway between what are commercially called “mild hybrid” and traditional “full hybrid”. We have dedicated a specific technical study to this engine, so here we will focus on the driving sensations of the 500X Hybrid. With a small summary, however, we recall the 130 hp and 240 Nm of torque made available by the 1.5 e-Hybrid.
This power, fully comparable to that of the 1.3 T4 turbobenzina and the 1.6 Multijet, is sent exclusively to the front wheels (there are no integral variants) through a 7-speed double clutch gearbox, inside which is the electric motor that provides another 20 CVs. The hybrid system is completed by the 48 Volt electrical system, the BSG starter-generator and the 0.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.
In short, as we said, it is a scheme that makes simplicity its strong point but which in any case allows you to pass the WLTP homologation cycle with the thermal part off for almost half the time during urban sections. Just to have a reference, compared to the 1.3 T4 turbo petrol fuel consumption is on average 11% lower. Numbers that in real use lose importance in favor of sensations. The 500X always starts with the heat engine off, obviously unless you hit the floor right from the traffic light.
In this circumstance, however, the Fiat hybrid crossover manages to complete the classic passage from 0 to 100 km / h in 9 seconds flat.
But it is when it is driven smoothly that it gives its best, harnessing all 20 horsepower of electric before starting to move the pistons. Thus the city queues, the “stop and go” and also the maneuvers are faced in silence, with the 4-cylinder that comes into play during acceleration at around 20 km / h. From this speed onwards he takes care of moving the cars, but he is always ready to switch off in all those situations where the pace is constant and the gas pedal is only touched. Instead, every time the brake is pressed, the electric motor recovers energy and sends it to the battery, which is managed by the software in such a way as to always gravitate around 50% of the recharge, so as to have enough energy to push the car. but also enough space to store new ones.
The second aspect is fundamental, because the petrol engine never generates current for the accumulators, as it does in “full hybrids”. In short, the Fiat hybrid banishes all complications and does so also in the passenger compartment, where there are no controls to select the driving modes. Whoever is behind the wheel doesn’t have to worry about anything about what’s going on under the hood. For the rest, the 500X is the one we know well: the driving position is comfortable and containment at the right point, the seat adjustments have a wide range and you don’t sit too high. The space for the rear passengers, on the other hand, is more restricted, also due to the descending shape of the pavilion. As for road behavior, the 500X is always very predictable and intuitive, the set-up is not too yielding but absorbs bumps well. Finally, as regards the technology on board, there are adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, the assistant for involuntary lane changes and the one for monitoring the blind spot.
Fiat 500X Hybrid, the card
What is that: the hybrid version of the Turin compact crossover, born in 2014 and updated in 2018
Dimensions: length 4.27 meters, width 1.79 m, height 1.60 m, pitch 2.57 m
Trunk: 350 liters
Motor: 1.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid turbofan, 130 HP and 240 Nm
Exchange: automatic, 7-speed double clutch
Benefits: ride comfort, road behavior, driving position, hybrid system
Defects: space for rear passengers, infotainment not very fluid
Production: Melfi, Italy
Prices: The price list of the Fiat 500X Hybrid starts at 29,400 euros